CFP: 'Cultural Translations' Postgraduate Symposium, Malta, 15-16 April 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Department of English, University of Malta

The Department of English of the University of Malta,
with the participation and collaboration of the
Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff University
and the
Department of English, University of Zaragoza,
is pleased to announce a call for papers for its 2011 Postgraduate Symposium:

'Cultural Translations'
Malta: 15-16 April 2011

The first definition of the word 'translation' offered by the OED is 'Transference; removal or conveyance from one person, place, or condition to another'. Understood in this way, it is apparent that translation's relationship with literary and cultural texts is not simply that of a process whereby a particular text is rendered in another language. Translation is not only something done to a text. Understood in the broader sense, it is something that has occupied and exercised the literary and cultural imagination from its beginnings. This strange coextensivity takes us from Homer's tale of the 'translations' of Ulysses, right the way up to Rushdie's declaration that diasporic writers are 'translated men'. Literary and visual culture has always told of journeys, loss, changes in condition or circumstance; even its very modes – metaphor, symbolism, irony, figuration itself – are arguably inherently translational. So although any mention of translation immediately and inevitably calls to mind what might be called 'linguistic' translation, on further consideration literature and visual culture seem to have always been preoccupied with what might be called 'cultural' translation. The distinction, however, is not an easy one. The border between the two is far from impenetrable and the linguistic is as prone to being carried over into the cultural as the cultural is to the linguistic. However one looks at it, then, translation is rife and arguably always cultural.
This conference invites papers that respond to and explore cultural translations and translations of culture in literature, art, culture and theory.
Papers may discuss, but need not be limited to, issues like the following
• Loss and gain: the economy of cultural translation
• Literature and the exilic consciousness
• Cultural translation as an agent of literary/cultural/historical change
• The relationship between cultural translation and cultural memory
• Human translation and questions concerning technology
• The cultural turn in translation studies
• The place and state of language(s) in cultural translation
• Ethnicity, hybridity and multiculturalism
• Diaspora and migration
• Borders, margins and the in-between in art and culture
• 'Foreignising' cultural translations
• Cultural adaptation and transmediation
• Cultural untranslatability
• Surviving translation
• Origins, originality and authenticity
• Cultural translation and the future of comparative literature and transnational literatures
• Aesthetics, politics and ideology in cultural translation
• Literary geographies

Proposals of around 300 words, accompanied by a short biographical note not exceeding 100 words, should be sent to by 28th February 2011.